It is safe to say that Gordon Bajnai, the young, mild-mannered prime minister of Hungary, is hardly a household name in the United States or even in most of Europe. It is also safe to say that his imminent return to private life – he has announced that he is not standing for re-election in the parliamentary vote scheduled for April, in which the opposition center-right party Fidesz is heavily favored– will not grab headlines on either side of the Atlantic.

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Substantial Shift in Attitude Reflects Cumulative Reforms, Pollsters Say -- Not Just Obama Effect

African-Americans have become remarkably more upbeat about their personal prospects, according to a major national poll conducted at the end of President Barack Obama’s first year in office.

Fifty-three percent of African-Americans say life for their community is improving while only 10 percent predicted things getting worse. As recently as 2007, polls of the African-American community showed that 44 percent said things would get better and 21 percent expressed pessimism – nearly double the new figure.

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Sarkozy Proposes Rival Digitization Plan Made in France

As a key (and culturally symbolic) part of its grandiose global design to make and compile electronic copies of all existing books, Google, the U.S. online search giant, has long sought to digitize the nearly 15 million books on the shelves of the French National Library. From the outset, Google’s ambitions have met opposition in some French circles, and now President Nicolas Sarkozy has put his foot down, announcing that Paris will put up more than $1 billion to fund its own national electronic-scanning project for France’s body of literary work.

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